By Irene Kehlier

The Best Baby Wipes

The best baby wipes need to be gentle on baby’s skin, but tough enough to stand up to a big mess. We dug into the research and confirmed with a dermatologist which ingredients to avoid, then asked parents to test out 11 different brands in their normal routines to see which delivered the best, most comfortable clean with the fewest wipes.

The Best Baby Wipes: Summed Up

Parasol Baby Wipes
The Honest Company Baby Wipes
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes
The best
Luxury wipes
Packaging
On a budget
Price per wipe
$0.04
$0.06
$0.04
Textured?
Snap closure
Available in stores
Softness
Best
Great
Good

*prices may fluctuate based on Amazon availability

The 3 Best Baby Wipes


Best Luxury Wipes

Parasol Baby Wipes
Parasol
The best cleaning ability, plus plant-based ingredients to soothe skin.
Pros
Excellent cleaning
Natural skin-conditioning ingredients
Softest and thickest we tested
Cons
Expensive
Only available online
No snap closure on some packs

Why we chose it

Excellent cleaning

Parasol Baby Wipes outperformed all other contenders in our cleaning tests. The wipes’ distinctive dot texture meant we had to use the fewest wipes to get the job done: generally just two wipes to clean up 95% of a blowout.

Natural skin-conditioning ingredients

Parasol’s moisture level is also just right for cleansing: The wipes are damp, but not saturated, with a slightly sudsy feel, which leaves baby’s skin feeling fresh and smooth with no soapy residue. Parasol uses multiple natural skin-conditioning ingredients, including natural aloe, chamomile, cucumber, and sucrose cocoate, derived from coconut. We also loved the light scent with subtle whiffs of cucumber.

Softest and thickest we tested

Parasol wipes are thick, cloth-like wipes that are markedly softer and thicker than most on the market. It’s always nice to feel a thick, soft layer between your hand and the mess you’re cleaning, and Parasol wipes really deliver on this score. Their thickness also makes them easy to remove from the package with one hand: Each wipe detaches neatly from the others and doesn’t fold, crumple, or tear. In comparison, some of the thinner brands we tested made us feel like we had to use two at a time.

Points to consider

Expensive

The only real downside to Parasol wipes is the cost. They’re a bit more expensive than most, often priced at about $0.09 per wipe, though sometimes they can price out at $0.04 per wipe. If you’re using 500 wipes per month conservatively, then that may be a dealbreaker. However, we needed less than half the number of wipes when compared to the cheapest brand we tested (Huggies at $0.04 per wipe).

Only available online

Parasol wipes are also only available online, either through Amazon or direct through its site. Similar to The Honest Company, Parasol does offer a subscription service for both its diapers and wipes and ships products straight to your door at regular intervals.

No snap closure on some packaging

As great as these wipes are, we still wish all of the packaging had a hard plastic opening for locking in freshness. It’s just easier to hear and feel that “snap” than it is to re-stick the flap and hope there are no air leaks. Newer versions of Parasol’s packaging feature the sought-after snap, but some of the travel packs are still sticker-seal.


Most Convenient Packaging

The Honest Company Baby Wipes
The Honest Company
These wipes have an identical texture to our top pick but were a bit less luxurious.
Pros
Excellent skin-conditioning ingredients
Thoughtful packaging
Available at some retail locations
Cons
Not as soft as Parasol
Voluntary recall in 2017

Why we chose it

Effective skin-conditioning ingredients

The Honest Company Baby Wipes narrowly missed the top spot. They rival the Parasol Baby Wipes in cleaning ability and durability and left our babies’ skin feeling fresh and soft. Featuring a similar “dot” texture and many of the same natural ingredients, such as cucumber and chamomile, The Honest Company wipes contain masterwort (known for its skin-soothing properties) instead of aloe vera. Unlike Parasol, these wipes don’t have a scent.

Thoughtful packaging

While they lacked the sudsy feel of the Parasol wipes, they were easy to remove from the package, and the sturdy plastic opening clicks shut for extra security and freshness — a nice perk that sets them apart from Parasol.

Available at some retail locations

The Honest Company Baby Wipes are generally cheaper than Parasol at about $0.06 per wipe. Like Parasol, The Honest Company started as an online diaper subscription services (and still offers this through its website), but you can also find The Honest Company wipes at multiple retail locations, including Target, CVS, and Safeway.

Points to consider

Not as soft as Parasol

As comparable as The Honest Company wipes are to Parasol's, they didn’t feel quite as luxurious or moist. We also missed the slightly sudsy feel. It may not be a dealbreaker for you, but it resulted in a better experience with the Parasol wipes.

Voluntary recall in 2017

In May 2017, The Honest Company issued a voluntary recall of some wipes due to mold spotting. A recall on a baby product is a concern for any parent, but it’s worth noting that the spotting was only an aesthetic issue and not a health hazard (that’s why it was voluntary). We like that the company chose to issue the recall and, living up to its name, posted an explanatory video and list of affected lot numbers to its website. There have been no issues since.


Best on a Budget

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes
Seventh Generation
A solid choice available at more retailers.
Pros
Effective and durable
Often cheapest of our top picks
Sold at more retail locations
Cons
Less cleaning ability
Not as luxurious

Why we chose it

Effective and durable

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes aren’t as soft or thick as our two top picks, but they were surprisingly durable. In our stretch test, the material hardly budged when we pulled on them firmly. They were also easy to pull from the package while holding a squirming kid. And like our other top picks, these wipes feature a patterned texture — in this case, adorable little ducks — that helps them clean more effectively.

Cheapest of our top picks

These wipes also offer the best value of any we tested. Among our top contenders, they were among the cheapest, at about $0.04 per wipe. While the same price per wipe, the Huggies Simply Clean Baby Wipes tore easily.

Sold at more retail locations

If you prefer to do your shopping the old-fashioned way, you’ll like that Seventh Generation products are available at numerous retail locations, including Target and Whole Foods. Besides the convenience, cutting down on shipping materials helps these wipes live up to their eco-friendly name.

Points to consider

Less cleaning ability

Unfortunately, these wipes fell a little behind our other top picks in terms of their cleaning ability. The cute duck-themed texture did clean better than the non-textured wipes, but not nearly as well as the distinctive dot texture of both Parasol and The Honest Company wipes.

Not as luxurious

While they pulled easily from the package, we had to admit that these wipes didn’t have the deluxe feel and thickness of our other top picks. If anything, they feel a little too dry. In terms of skin conditioners, they also rely only on aloe vera and vitamin E — no herbal or flower extracts.

Guide to Baby Wipes

How to find the right baby wipes for your family

Research ingredients

When it comes to baby wipes, look for plant-based ingredients and avoid potential allergens and irritating preservatives. In general, the fewer hard-to-pronounce words on the ingredient list, the better. Be aware, though, that preservative-free wipes, such as WaterWipes, have been known to eventually grow mold after being opened.

Some common ingredients to avoid
  • Methylisothiazolinone. This common preservative has been linked to cases of contact allergic dermatitis.
  • Parabens. The verdict is still out for this preservative. Some have concerns about skin irritation, and more significantly, endocrine disruption. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says, “Parabens are rarely irritating or sensitizing to normal human skin at concentrations used in cosmetics.” However, we aren’t willing to run the risk with baby skin.
  • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol. This preservative has formaldehyde-releasing properties, and research has also linked it to skin irritation and allergy.
  • Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate. A preservative that is toxic when inhaled. Babies do like to put things in their mouths, so it seemed best to avoid.
  • Phenoxyethanol. Similarly, this common preservative has been known to cause vomiting and diarrhea when consumed. The FDA raised concerns about phenoxyethanol in a nipple cream, which was recalled. Again, we erred on the side of caution. This knocked out Costco’s popular Kirkland Signature wipes.
  • Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. This preservative, included in well-known natural brand Earth’s Best, has been linked to skin allergies.
  • Chlorhexidine. An antiseptic used in medical settings that has been linked to skin damage in preemie babies, which eliminated Fresh ‘n Clean wipes.

Choose a price range

Baby wipes vary in cost from about $0.02 to $0.08 per wipe. That might not sound like much of a difference, but when you consider the volume you’ll be using (babies do tend to be messy, after all), those pennies can add up in a hurry. We found Seventh Generation to be among the best value we tested (around $0.04 per wipe).

Look for signs of irritation

You’ll know if a certain wipe is a good fit for your baby if they continue to have healthy, smooth skin. Diaper rash happens on occasion, of course, but a true allergy would result in recurring symptoms that don’t go away on their own. These symptoms include redness, irritation, itching, burning, bumps, and in more severe cases, actual blisters or sores. If you spot any of these, consult with your pediatrician.

Baby Wipes FAQ

Is there a such thing as an “organic” baby wipe?

No baby wipe is certified organic, though it might contain organic ingredients. Our top pick contains organic aloe, for example. Wipes not manufactured with plastic fibers are also biodegradable. Among our initial finalists, only Jackson Reece Herbal Baby Wipes are both biodegradable and compostable. We didn’t find them as effective for cleaning as our top picks, but for parents who want to go green, they’re worth a look.

Are certain wipes better for sensitive skin?

All of our top picks contain skin-conditioning ingredients, but if your little one is prone to eczema or rashes, you may want to consider a preservative-free wipe. WaterWipes are one brand we liked in our testing — they’re extremely soft, if a bit small and thin for messy jobs. Our expert, Dr. Lio, recommends them for babies with true skin allergies because they contain only water and grapefruit seed extract.

Can I rehydrate baby wipes that have dried out?

Unfortunately, no. Baby wipes (even ones with preservatives) are manufactured using pharmaceutical-grade purified water to keep them clean and sterile. Adding tap or bottled water can cause discoloration, odor, and eventually mold growth.

Can I use baby wipes to clean other parts of my baby?

Yes. As well as their diaper area, you can use baby wipes to clean your baby’s hands, feet, and face. However, wipes are only safe for external use. They should not be used to clean inside your baby’s mouth, nose, ears, or eyes.

Why can’t you flush baby wipes?

Unless you enjoy the challenge of unclogging your toilet or forking over cash to your plumber, you can’t flush baby wipes. Baby wipes are not made of the same materials as toilet paper, and thus don’t break down in water the same. According to Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), wipes may cause blockages and back ups in your plumbing drain or even your community’s sewer system, wastewater pumps, and ultimately the wastewater treatment plant.

What is the shelf life of a baby wipe?

The biggest threats to the longevity of baby wipes is drying out, losing effectiveness, or developing mold. There is not usually an expiration date stamped on the package, but the best way to keep baby wipes fresh, clean, and effective is to store unopened packages in a cool environment and to use opened packages within the first year of purchase.

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